From Fanzines to Foodbanks: football fan activism in the age of anti-politics


This article is concerned with an emerging trend in political participation: the role played by football fans in engendering activism and protest. The role of fan activism in the debate on patterns of civic and political (dis)engagement – in the age of so-called anti-politics – has been ignored by the scholarly literature thus far. As a corrective, this article examines the development of football fan activism over the last thirty years, since the creation of the English Premier League in 1992. It adopts a case study approach centred on supporters’ movements since 1992. It argues that the political activism of football fans has both quantitatively and qualitatively changed over this period. Employing the sociological theory of Manuel Castells it claims that collective identities developed in resistance to the commercialisation and commodification within football have developed into more distinct ‘project identities’ that seek bring about more profound social change through football.

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Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Politics, History and International Relations
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Aston Centre for Europe
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Uncontrolled Keywords: fan activism,anti-politics,English Premier League,social movements,football
Publication ISSN: 1461-7218
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2024 07:26
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2022 16:04
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2022-12
Published Online Date: 2022-04-07
Accepted Date: 2022-01-07
Authors: Fitzpatrick, Daniel (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-7044-0103)
Hoey, Paddy



Version: Accepted Version

Access Restriction: Restricted to Registered users only


Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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